German Recipes are often well-guarded precious family traditions, carried throughout the generations. In my husband’s family, the German recipes are typically passed down from grandparents to grandchildren.
One of the highlights of any German harvest festival (Erntedankfest), music fest (like the Beethoven festival), or Oktoberfest party is the bowle.
There are many varieties of bowle, a popular party drink often neglected by German recipe books. “Bowle” is just another word for fruit punch.
Though Oktoberfest is best known for beer, nothing is more appreciated at a themed party than a refreshing bowle, either of the alcoholic or the non-alcoholic variety.
The bowle itself serves as an enchanting centerpiece with its typically colorful presentation.
From related Christmas classic Wassail to the seasonal Erdbeer (strawberry wine) bowle, German recipes for bowle are often a very cherished party preparation treasure, and can make parties so much nicer!
Though early season recipes are often spiced with woodruff, later season bowle recipes include a variety of flavorful ingredients.
Here are five German Bowle Recipes (in English).
Please note: it is best to use fresh fruit for Bowle recipes. But when fresh is unavailable, substitution of frozen fruit in the Bowle recipe is acceptable.
For alcoholic versions, please allow for plenty of time for the fruits to soak prior to the finished presentation, as the alcohol-soaked fruit is considered a treat in itself!
German Bowle Recipes
Melonenbowle mit Birne (Melon Bowle Punch with Pear)
The final melons of the season are a perfect presentation for this bowle recipe, which consists of melon, pear, and a dry white wine.
This is actually two recipes in one. Although paler melons such as honeydew and cantaloupe are preferred, watermelon can be substituted if it is still available, or if you’re making this in the middle of the summer rather than for Oktoberfest.
The wine that is used in either version is slightly different (see the notes section of this recipe for more information). In either case, I like to use a melon baller for this recipe, as it gives it that extra special touch when chunking up the fruit.
Mulled Apfelwein Bowle (Hard Cider Punch)
This recipe is one more or less best for very specific families. My husband’s family makes this drink in the fall, and it can definitely knock your socks off, depending on who brewed the Apfelwein!
The flavor is that of a hearty cider with a punch to it, and it is commonly served warm.
Kirsche Colabierbowle (Cherry Cola Beer Punch)
A great bowle for football season, this drink is a delight for gals at Jack and Jill sport parties – but don’t be surprised if Jack wants a sip!
The flavor is somewhat unusual, but it’s liked by those who appreciate a flavorful beer. This bowle is best served out of a glass pitcher that’s been well chilled.
Moosbeereherbstblätter Bowle (Cranberry Autumn Leaves Punch)
This bowle has the look of beautiful autumn leaves, with the addition of delicious cranberry juice. Move over Cosmopolitan – this drink is a real stunner.
Gespenstischbowle (Spooky Punch)
This bowle takes creativity and zing to make it a Halloween hit! Be the first to try this trick, made with a variety of fruit juices and liqueurs, and creepy hand-shaped ice.
Punch Up Your Favorite Cocktails for Entertaining
I really hope you enjoy these bowle recipes. I have tried all of these, but with non-alcoholic substitutions like ginger ale or club soda for the champagne.
German Bowle is a lovely experience, rooted in a love of life and celebration of the seasons. Sometimes, a bowle is itself the life of the party.
Have you tried these recipes at home? Tell me about your experience in the comments!
Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Uncredited photos via Shutterstock.